Airbus readies A350-1000 for delivery, dismisses Boeing 777-9

Feb. 20, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Toulouse: Airbus will deliver its first A350-1000 to launch customer Qatar Airways within hours, making the end to a nearly two-month wait for the ceremonial handover.

The aircraft was legally delivered to Qatar in the closing days of 2017, but issues with the QSuite interior held up the hand-over until today. The airplane will enter revenue service between Doha and London Heathrow Airport.

Airbus’ Marisa Lucas, Head of A350 XWB Marketing, extols the virtues of the A350-1000 in advance of the handover of the firzt one to Qatar Airways.

Earlier today, Marisa Lucas, Head of A350 XWB Marketing, extolled the virtue of the A350-1000 and, in a response to a question, dismissed the coming Boeing 777-9 as a threat to the -1000. She also waved off the prospect, for now, of stretching the -1000 into a “2000” that would directly challenge the -9.

Not worried about 777-9

Today is supposed to be about the delivery of the A350-1000, but a reporter asked Lucas whether Airbus is concerned about the 777-9, which is planned to enter service in 2020.

Lucas dismissed the 777-9 as a “compromise” airplane, using old and new features. The new ones—the wing, engines and fuselage stretch—add weight to the airplane, she said.

A fully loaded A350-1000 weighs as much as an empty 777-9, she said. The -1000 is 15% more economic than the 777-9, she says. (Boeing claims the 777-9 is more efficient than the -1000.)

Although the 777-9 nominally carries 40 more passengers than the -1000, Lucas said going to 10-abreast in the -1000 will even the seat count, though at the expense of comfort.

Dismissive of an A350-1000 stretch

Lucas also dismissed the prospect of stretching the A350-1000 into an “1100” 0r “2000” that would have the same capacity of the 777-9.

Airbus studied the prospect, she said, but there are no plans to do so.

Final Assembly Line

Media was given a tour of the A350 Final Assembly Line as well.

Airbus is ramping the production rate up to 10/mo by the end of this year. LNC understands that Airbus will go to 13/mo next year.

Airbus A350 XWB assembly line in Toulouse. Airbus has a different assembly process than Boeing for its wide-bodies.

Airbus has a different assembly philosophy than Boeing for its wide-body airplanes.

Boeing has an in-line production system for its 777 and 787, with moving elements on each. Airbus assembles the A350s side-by-side, a process of long-standing.

Airbus prefers the side-by-side in part to avoiding stopping the entire line in the event there is a significant problem on one plane in the lines. If one occurs in the side-by-side production, Airbus can, if needed, back the airplane out of the position and work on it elsewhere, replacing the plane with another.

The Airbus method also enables “stuffing” the fuselage with large components that otherwise might have to be inserted disassembled through passenger doors, only to be reassembled once inside the airplane.

88 Comments on “Airbus readies A350-1000 for delivery, dismisses Boeing 777-9

  1. I will not understand why Airbus is not going for a larger A350.
    They rather lost the Emirates order.
    67m, 74m and almost 80m sound like a very reasonable sizing, and the loss in range should not be too bad.

    It would be up directly against the B777x and put a lot of pressure on Boeing since it’s a way lighter construction with same engine technology.
    9 abreast gives a great advantage in comfort, and with growing PAX numbers bigger planes are needed.
    I can see BA, LH, SIA, Qatar and others order a stretched A35k.

    • You can only do so much in a given time.

      Boeing offered the 777X and they took them up on it.

      Those sales are gone.

      Now its a waiting game to see if there is a significant market where the 777-9 sits or its limited and the 1000 is the wave of the future.

      A factor is that 777s seem not to retire, so counting on replacement is?

      • 777: 91% active ( ~135 stored,scrapped, written off )
        looks like mostly -200 and non ER frames.
        A330 92% active.

      • “You can only do so much in a given time. ”

        Airbus is developing nothing atm.

        The A35k is done, they could use the same team for another stretch.

        Airbus is done with A320neo, A35k and A330neo.

        They have plenty of dev. ressources, even laid off some ppl.

    • @Sash

      As Fabrice Bregier indicated, Airbus will probably launch an 80 m long A350-2000 when the next generation engine technology is ready. IMJ, Airbus is waiting to see the results of testing of the Rolls Royce’s new Advance3 core. FWIW, I would not be surprised to see Airbus launching the A350-2000 in three years time, and with EIS in 2026. The Advance3 core should be able to lower TSFC by up to 10 percent over that of the Trent XWB engine; or at least 5 percent lower TSFC than the GE9X engine on the 777X

      Thus, an 80 m long, 320-plus metric tonne MTOW A350-2000 — some 30 metric tonnes lower MTOW than the 777X — would not only be able to carry slightly more passengers than the 777-9, but it should do so with a 10-plus percent lower fuel consumption per seat than the 777-9. That would IMJ be the end of the 777X.

      • This Advance 3 can very well re engine the 787-10 also and give him more range ?

        • I think the Advance 3 core is only an test bed engine that will not produce a certified engine directly. It may be used in the liebherr geared the Ultrafan around 2027 for which it’s technology may be used in the core. I don’t know if RR can mobilise the technology earlier.

    • Airbus must find an engine better than the GE9X before going forward with a stretch. It will take some time before the RR Advance is certified. The Ultrafan needs a custom nacelle and pylon and maybe longer landing gear legs, the Advance will slide right in place. Be aware that the A350-1000 wing is a modified A350-900 wing and the A350-2000 deserves a new 80m span wing but can keep the exisitng nacelle, pylon and just beefed up landing gears.

      • No, a 320 metric tonnes MTOW A350-2000 wouldn’t need a new wing. It would have a wing loading of around 695 kg/m2 (i.e. 320000 kg / 461 m2). In contrast the wing loading for the 777X — assuming wing area of 515 m2 — is 683.5 kg/m2 (i.e. 352000 kg / 515 m2). However, in order to protect future growth in MTOW, an A350-2000 would require a baseline thrust of some 105,000 lbs. Also, it wouldn’t need longer MLG legs. The A350 XWB already sits as high as the 777X. In fact, there’s more than enough ground cleareance under the engine mounts in order to hang an engine with a fan diameter greater than 130 inches.

        • I still believe AB needs shorter range versions of the 350, one is an 35K+. The other is a 4.45m stretch (7 panels, 70m) stretch of the 359, +30 seats, 268T Mtow, 79/84 Klb’s, 6500-7000Nm.

          Put the 35K wing, etc on the 70m aircraft and you could have an all mighty range around the QF sunrise project with good pax numbers.

      • Please explain what you mean by “Airbus must find an engine better than the GE9X.” That engine is not even in service yet ….

        • The 777-9 will get the latest most efficient Engine available. It is bigger than the A350-1000 and has more capacity.
          For Airbus to offer something much better than they offered to Emirates, Singapore, Lufthansa, Qatar, Cathay, ANA, Eithad which they all lost to the 777-9.
          One can argue that a simple stretch of the A350-1000 as offered is light weight and good enough but the market thinks the B777-9 is better even though heavy, so its payload/range with new wings and GE9X Engines makes a big difference that is why Airbus response must have a better wing and new Engines like the RR Advance, which is as similar to the GE9X as the Trent700 is to the CF6-80E.
          Airbus knows it from all the debriefings when loosing to the 777-9 especially the LH loss, even though they often buy Aircrafts to get licenses to fill their profitable workshops.

    • Actually it was smart NOT to stretch the A350-1000 just for Emirates and those same A380 customers. The secret wide body sauce is somewhere between the 777-200/ A350-900 and 777-300ER. That is where the market has been. The A350-1000 will be the right aircraft for up gauging from the 777-200 or to replace the 777-300ER as one for one. If there is concern about the -1000 being too big, then it will be even worse for 777-9.

      • There is a much bigger and more urgent market out there to develop A350 models that could compete more directly with the 789 and 78J.

        Many 77W’s are relatively new and an 35K+ could come with time.

        • Anton, please understand that you can not take a longhaul plane, do some twerks and built a medium range plane out of it.

          neither the shrink you suggested nor that other stretch are realistic and would work.

          Airbus shifted it’s strategy, the new fuselage will be the true long haul, and the old A300/330/340 fuselage will serve as the smaller plane for little shorte routes.
          Idk if Airbus still thinks about domestic versions of the A330neo,
          imo it would be a bright move to get a shorter range A330neo.

      • So far orders don’t look well for A35k.

        Right size might be A359 and B789 for now, they are taking majority of sales.

        Boeing realized with failure of B787-8 they shoot over the top, leaving customers with B767 fleets somewhere behind as they don’t need that range and abilities of the B787-8.

        Also, there are a lot of B744 around, the are about 400pax.

    • engine power is the key to stretching A350-1000,without the bigger engine,increasing pax is possible but not the range.

      • With current engines an A350-“2000” (~400Pax) will most likely have a range of ~7000Nm. How many routes require a range of more than 7000Nm. Do you want to drag around an extra 25-30T for that few routes? There is no way an 779 can have a lower mission cost than the 35K, so if the 779 seat are not filled?

        Dubai to LHR ~2800Nm and NY ~5800Nm, why do you need that range, and if you need it there is the 350-1000 with 8000Nm and if you want to go crazy see link.

  2. Wow, 10 abreast is out of the bag on an A350. So whoever I disabused for suggesting that this would happen within a couple of years I apologise wholeheartedly. I better start dieting if I want to longhaul

  3. Airbus have a sensible position, the current A350-1000 will cover a great deal of future A340, and 777 replacements, especially if you factor in the potential 18 seat increase they already have in mind.

    I think the clue is in the 10 abreast comment: Airbus can wait and see if there is a big enough market once the 777-9 is actually flying. They can then offer a 10 abreast A350-1000 which would be very attractive without having to spend money stretching, and re-certifying a potential A350-1100.

    Thinner tube, lower weight, slightly less range, and less cargo but similar passengers to a 777-9, for many missions that could be a very strong argument in favour of an A350.

    The 1000 will have been in service for around 2 years before the 777-9 is in service, ample time to demonstrate their significant weight or lack thereof advantage.

    Airbus will also have the luxury of being able to improve the A350 before the 777-9 EIS. If a current configuration 1000 turns out to be even 5% more economic than a 777-9, and you can add 40 additional seats some of the airlines may well see an opportunity.

    There’s always the list price factor, for the bigger airlines, buy 26 777-9s or for the same money buy 30 A350-1000s, or buy 26 1000s and save around $1.5 Billion.

    As an aside: It seems Sichuan Airlines have just ordered 10 A350-900s.

    • A 10 abreast 350 would be a nightmare; It is 10 and 14 inches narrower than the 777 and 777x respectively. It is only 5 inches wider than the 787 which is widely panned as being too tight at 9 abreast. So, hopefully, we can discount the 10 abreast 350 as the fever dream of disturbed minds.

      The 779 is 76.7 m long so an 80 m 350-1100 could be close in passenger capacity while retaining the superior 3-3-3 (compared to to 779 3-4-3) seating. If it retained the current wing it might have shorter range than the 779 but would be substantially more effecient.

      Interestingly, Boeing’s model line, 37max , 87, 77x, all have close to the same seat width. By not making the 77x a all new aircraft with a 20 foot plus wide cabin for 3-4-3 they commmited themselves to that for a long time to come.

      The 359, 3510, and a 3511, should it happen, would seem to have a long, successful life ahead of them, especially with a new generation of ultrafan engines in (realistically) 10 years or so.

    • @ JtD

      Is the 18 seat increase to do with moving back the aft bulkhead as suggested for Emirates

  4. Think the 350-1000 is near perfect. There is possibly more need for an 350 variant that could compete with the 787-10 and a medium range (5000-6000 Nm) A350-X with ~275 seats than a 35K+ that will compete in a relatively small volume market.

    This aircraft looks good and well balanced, I like the third image, makes me think of an B752 for some reason.

  5. If they don’t need the cargo volume, how about lavatories downstairs, or sleeping berths for rent?

    • Cargo is usually a significant factor in the economics of the long range wide bodies.

      One failing of the A380 is its less than its ration of pax and excess cargo capacity. Ergo, you have to fill it to make money as the cargo revenue is less than a 777-300.

    • Once flew on a LH A340 to Venezuela (some years ago…) that had lavatories downstairs, best config I have used. Lots of space to queue or stretch in, no crowded aisles. If the cargo volume is not needed, I’d say 10-12 seats can be saved (5-6 lavatories downstairs).

      • Accessibility. Think about elderly people and/or someone developing medical issues down there. Imagine getting some corpulent person out of that hole.

        Good idea but afaics you can not have the major part of sanitation down there.

          • The issue with selling sleeping berths either below deck or in the crown is takeoff and landing. They still need a belted seat anyway. Crew is fine as they have various jump seats and so on apart from the sleeper berths- which might have difficult access not suitable for paying passengers

          • We’re not taking about moving passengers downstairs, but freeing up cabin space on the main deck for more seats by moving most of the lavatories and/or galleys to the lower deck

    • @ Ted

      Good point, it has been raised before as a possible solution and weight rather than volume is normally the limiting factor in cargo on long haul at least.

      • Along similar but different line/s. If down stair amenities and crew facilities are placed in the hull of the 339, adding say 15-20 seats, reduced MTOW of 238T, de-rated 67Klb engines, 6000 Nm range .

        Could become an interesting aircraft for airlines with not a big emphasis on belly revenue, similar applies for the 338. Maybe what some LCC’s could be interested in?

        This type of layout had been available for 340’s, same fuselage, could work. Such an aircraft might actually by a narrow margin better the seat mile cost of equivalent 787’s.

    • @Ted

      An 11 frame stretch of the A350-1000 (6 frames forward and 5 frames aft of the wing) would increase overall aircraft length to 80.8 m ( fuselage length: 79.2 m). That would increase LD-3 capacity to 54** (i.e. 44 LD-3s on the A350-1000/777-300ER and 48 LD-3s on the 777-9).

      Now, a carrying capacity of 54 LD-3s on the lower holds would be quite excessive. An aft lower deck lavatory facility, in addition to a lower deck galley that could be similar to the lavatory/galley configuration on the aft lower deck on Lufthansa’s A340-600s* — which is equal to around 12 LD-3s in length, stacked side-by-side (i.e. LH A346 LD-3 capacity is 30 vs. the standard 42 LD-3 capability on “standard A346s”) — would lead to a lower deck LD-3 carrying capacity of 42 units on an A350-2000; or the same lower deck capacity as an A340-600.


      **Page 59:

  6. Its a lot like the car thing, move a model up and it sells fewer, Make more money on it and its a wash.

    Eventually something like the Thunderbird becomes a behemoth that has nothign to do with its heritage as a sports car.

    And the big question is, where is the best market/segment location?

    The 777-300 clearly set the bench mark as a very good pax count segment.

    The 777-9 has picked up the orders there are for its increased size.

    Airbus has nothing to loose by sitting pat and seeing how the market responds and has its own responses (pack em or stretch it)

    At issue of course is can the 1000 engine be pushed more or do you need an upgrade?

    Lots in play and be interesting to watch.

    • Was often thinking what routes are say 75% of 77W serving, 6000NM. See EK for example now going to have 2 flights a day to Lisbon (~3500Nm), do you need heavy long range 777’s for that?

      AB could do a “simple” stretch (4.5m) to increase capacity to nearly that of the 779. With reduced MTOW for the more drag of a stretched 35K but all the other 35K goodies its range should not be less than 6500Nm, seat mile cost should be very competitive.

      But its as small market and believe there are bigger fish to fry.

  7. It would seem the pre stuffed 787 sections negates any of the touted advantage of side by side assembly.

    I can’t imagines a major problem with an in production that requires it to be put aside.

    I also assume Boeing can figure out how to get large items into the aircraft while its still being assembled, I don’t see how side by side changes that aspect.

    It has shades of the panel thing where it was touted as a feature that if there was skin damage they could just replace a whole panel.

    Having done more than a bit of patching on boats, no you don’t, you just patch the damaged section.

    Taking 1/6 of your skin off with all the fasteners and assembly back together when you get your epoxy out and make a patch? I don’t think so.

    Like Boeing, you have patch process and do a doubling plate and backing, cure it and its done.

    • In manufacturing planning, a single aisle process is great until the variances of pre-assembled by 3rd party or disparate geographically parts start to get messed up. In Boeing’s case, it is very difficult to move a partly assembled plane out of the way, should rework, missing components or any problem occurs. The line just comes to a halt, a factory managers nightmare. I have experienced this in another field, the knock on effects can last months.
      I am not knocking Boeing, if it works for them, fine. They must just ensure that components arrive on time, in good order and simply slots in as planned.

  8. I think Airbus would prefer to delay a double stretch until they have new engines, but if they looked to lose a big order to the 777-9X they would pitch it nevertheless.

    IIRC Rolls Royce left 4% SFC efficiency on the table when they adapted the -900 version of the XWB engine for the 1000 model rather than doing a cleansheet design. If engines need a 10% improvement in efficiency to justify a NEO, the Trent XWB-97 is already on its way. I can see Airbus adopting a new engine in a few years time for both the 1000 and the 2000 stretch. The latter would have about the same range as the 1000 on launch and the 1000 would now be the long range version. The 2000 would have unbeatable economics.

    • If Airbus would choose to launch an A350-2000 in, say, 2021 with a next generation RR engine that’s based on the Advance3 core, Boeing would IMJ have an ever harder time securing new 777-9 orders, going forward. In fact, the 777-9 would already be competing fiercely for business with the in-production A350-1000. With something promising a further 10 percent lower fuel consumption per seat on the near-term horizon, prospective 777-9 customers could very well decide to balk at firming orders with Boeing for the aircraft

      • One threat for 779 operators is not filling the seats.

        Looking at seat mile cost is based on assumptions filling the seats 100% of the time, sector cost is reality, the 35K a clear winner here.

        • FF Etc:

          I hope everyone realizes that someone has to pay for all that new stuff and RR has to start generating some revenue from its past endeavors.

          I have followed the Trent 1000 with a great deal of interest as its a P&W situation (or worse). It never achieved that economics it was supposed to and has serious issues with failures.

          For a mechanic, seeing an all new engine (75%) being put out now for the 787-10 and for the 787-9 production, RR is out an all new engine without ever having got a return on the first one.

          Despite that, the Trent 10 did not have a huge leap in SFC. Better but not like a new engine.

          On the other hand the XWB engine derived from the Trent 1000 (this gets seriously confusing) seems to have done fine (granted its a bit early)

          Regardless, engines are intended for 15+ years production, not a new one every 5.

          The Piper has to be paid.

          • Indeed, TransWorld. Nevertheless airlines aren’t buying engines. They are buying airplanes. If a new engine enables a new model that Airbus can sell in numbers they will go for it. Airbus and RR will sort something out, not least because Airbus can always go to the competition.

      • I agree, a cheap stretch of the A350-1000 does not kill the 777-9 in the market. They need a custom wing and the Advance Engine to be 10% better than today’s sea/mile cost for the -2000. I agree that most of it comes from the Engines but you need the same or better payload/range number. It can be that space for the extra fuel needed can be found somewhere else?

        • I think AB should consider doing a 789 -> 78J simple stretch of the 350-1000 ->2000 with same wing engines, wing etc with range of 6500-7000Nm. The 779 won’t be able to compete on seat mile or sector cost with such an 35K2, it could take a chunk of 77W replacements.

          So a very logic choice for airlines, 35K longer “thinner” routes and 35K2 shorter higher density routes. Don’t waste money chasing a 400+ seat aircraft with 7500+ range, there are other fish to fry.

        • All ME Hubs are <5000Nm from European, Asian and Eastern Hubs.

          Why do you need to serve it with a heavy long range 779's if you can do it with a significantly lighter medium range 35K2 with similar seat capacity?

          Yes fly to the US and Aus with 779 or 380's, but the thinner routes could also be served with the 35K.

          If you look at the US big 3, BA, LH, Turkish, JAL, ANA, Korean, SIA, etc…, many of their European, US, Aus high density routes are <5500Nm. Same apply as above.

          • Between longer haul missions an 35K2 could for example even be used on shorter high density missions such as the Miami-NY-LAX triangle as it will have ~30T less OEW to drag around than an 779?

            The trick is possibly going for an ~4.5 m (7 panel) stretch instead of 7m so it can use the 35K’s “hardware as is”, keep development costs low and avoid possible operational issues such as tail strike, turning radius, etc.

  9. I wonder why the 747-8 is not more of a contender. For decades we was the beautiful “Queen” of the skies. Has Emerates, or other airlines for that matter, looked at it as an alternative to the A380? It seems to be a more modern, efficient plane. The triple 7 has had remarkable success, and I would think the new version could fare well. I’d just love to see the 747-8 get more attention.

  10. “The 777-9 is too big”.

    Bregier is a bit hypocritical because he wanted an A350-2000!

    • Well he has the A380!

      He also may have a valid point. Looking at 747 and A380 numbers over the last 1o years and there is a limit in that region.

      Not none, but its a worthy question is the 777-9 too big for good sales and the cost to do it?

      The market hot spot looks to be 787-9 up through the A350-1000 area.

      • We will see, it is a bit like the A330neo, both can be market sucesses after their certification. It depends on their economics and reliability. The Export financing issue is now solved and it can give effects by the summer.

  11. “Airbus Dismisses Boeing 777-9′ ..

    The market has chosen the Boeing 777-X in 5 years since its launch against +/- 190 A350-1000 in 12 years 😣

    • Fair point.

      The question is has the 777-9 filled the need and how much more upside is there vs a more versatile and flexible A350?

      No predictions, just watching the show

      • @TransWorld

        Many people have talked about the versatility and flexibility of the A350 …

        I do not know where fantasy comes from but in the real world it does not seem as flexible / versatil as we would have us believe.

        Ask yourself why else would EK have chosen the 787-10 for its 8-hour missions and Qantas ordered the 787-9 for long missions?

        Finally, the A350-1000 is also between the 787-10 (2-class 330 seats/3-class 290 seats) and the 777-9 (2-class 420 seats/3-class 340 seats). It could be difficult …

    • You mean the middle east market and a few other mostly Asian A380 costumers?

      The 777X was ordered by 8 airlines and 235/326 are from the middle east.

      The -1000 was ordered by 12 airlines 59/169 by the middle east.

      Everybody knows that Emirates was instrumental in “creating” the 777X. The A350-1000 was created for a bigger, more versatile market. Lets see what happens. Bigger is better only seems to work for Emirates and a select few.

      • @Joe, it’s not entirely true

        Because the A350-1000 characteristics was changed in 2011 by Qatar Airways and then Emirates canceled its A350’s in 2014 because it was no longer the original characteristics. The A350-1000 seems to be “Qatarised”.

  12. The A350 and the 777X are going to be great aircraft … but all in all I think the 777-8 and 777-9 will prove to be game changers and will give it a really good run for it’s money …

  13. Regarding the following statement by Airbus salesperson Marisa Lucas that Mr. Hamilton included in his post.

    “A fully loaded A350-1000 weighs as much as an empty 777-9, she said.”

    This claim sounded absurd to me, so I invested about a minute of time in an internet search to fact check it.

    According to Wikipedia the operating empty weight of the 777-9 will be somewhere around 400,000 pounds (vs. 342,000 pounds for the A350-1000), and the maximum takeoff weight of the A350-1000 is 685,638 pounds (vs. 775,000 pounds for the 777-9). Those of us who satisfactorily completed elementary school mathematics should be able to quickly apply our mathematical knowledge to ascertain that a fully loaded A350-1000 is actually 685,368 – 400,000 = 285,368 pounds heavier than an empty 777-9.

    What purpose does Ms. Lucas see in making such an obviously absurd and false claim? Does see not think that anyone actually involved in purchasing airliners will immediately know that it is false?

    On a public relations or non-aviation news website I would not be surprised to see obviously false claims made by a salesperson repeated verbatim without comment. On a website that claims expertise in commercial aviation and journalistic neutrality in non-opinion posts, I am astounded to see such an absurd and obviously false claim repeated without a fact checking comment.

    The following Wikipedia excerpt is from the link after the excerpt.

    “The 777-9 is a 9.4 ft (2.9 m) longer derivative of the 777-300ER for a 251 ft 9 in (76.7 m) length. It will seat typically 414 passengers over a range of 7,525 nmi (13,940 km). Boeing froze its design in August 2015 and should start first assembly in 2017, for an introduction in December 2019. Its operating empty weight grew from the 777-300ER’s 373,500 to 400,000 lb (169,400 to 181,400 kg)”.

    Here is a link to the Wikipedia article for the A350. The weights I quote for the A350-1000 are from the “aircraft characteristics” table in this article.

    • I guess that “fully loaded” refers to seats only and that she ignores fuel . She claims that the OEM of an A350-1000 plus a full payload weighs as much as an empty 777-9.

      Another guess would be that she’s not an aircraft engineer.

    • “Loaded” was the tag Ms. Lucas used.

      That is (M)ZFW ( i.e. OEW + Payload.)

      so it is 181t (tentative) – 155t = 26t delta.
      Airbus assumed
      -9 OEW = -300ER(175t) + 15t = 190t
      A35k OEW = -300ER (175) – 20t = 155t

      That is a delta of 35t . ( full pax + bags )
      AB ref:—22-January-2015/Airbus%20Commercial%20Update%20-%2022%20January%202015.pdf

    • Without seeing the full speech can’t tell whether it is out of context, a mistake or misleading. But the difference in empty weight of 58,000 lbs divided by the 366 maximum load of the A350-1000 gives 158.5lbs. According to the average adult (globally) weighs 136.4lbs. So, is she saying (or trying to say but failing) that an A350-1000 can be fully seated (possibly with their luggage, but definitely no fuel or cargo) before a 777-9 crew can let a single passenger set foot aboard?

    • @Ap_Robert

      Perhaps those who’re working in the legal profession should be careful about accusing someone of lying on a topic in which they themselves have seemingly absolutely no insight into.

      What’s important to note here is the Maximum Zero Fuel Weight (MZFW), which is the maximum permissible weight of an aircraft beyond which an additional load must be in the form of fuel. Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) = Operating Weight Empty (OWE) + passenger load + passenger bags + cargo (belly freight).

      For the A350-1000 the MZFW is 220 metric tonnes. AFAIK, the MZFW for the 777-9 is around 255 metric tonnes. Maximum Fuel Capacity (MFC) for the A350-1000 is 156,000 litres; or about 125 metric tonnes. With a MTOW of 308 metric tonnes, you should be able to figure out that the A350-1000 can’t take-off at MZFW + MFC, which BTW is equal to 333 metric tonnes. So, if you’re going to take-off with the A350-1000 at MZFW, the max permissible fuel load would be about 125,000 litres; or about 100 tonnes of fuel.

      Now, what does a “fully loaded” A350-1000 actually mean?

      I’d guess that it means fully loaded fuel tanks at MTOW. Therefore, the ZFW for a fully loaded A350-1000 would have to be some 25 metric tonnes lower than its MZFW. This would seem to indicate the ZFW of a fully loaded A350-1000 is about 195 metric tonnes, which BTW is in the same neighbourhood as that the OWE of the 777-9. Hence, Marisa Lucas’ assertion that a fully loaded A350-1000 weighs as much as an empty 777-9 would seem to be true.

      • “Loaded Weight” is “OEW + payload”.
        no fuel involved.

        Now is it “max payload” or “nominal payload” ( for the nominal range )

      • Thanks, comprehensive answer. The 316T MTOW will make room for an additional ~10T fuel and/or freight.

      • @OV-099

        This seems to be indeed.

        But what is the fuel capacity for the 777-9 to support your evidence?🤔🤔

          • Wikipedia can not be a reliable source because the fuel capacity is 198.000 L while the 777-300ER has a fuel capacity of 181.000 L.

            I think there is an error while the 777-200ER had 171.000 L which represents a differential of only 10,000 L while the 777-300ER carries 65 more passengers for the same range! (14,600 km). It is not possible that the 777-9 carries nearly 20,000 L more than the 777-300 ER for 50 more passengers.

            The reality is that the 777-9 may have a fuel capacity that is either the same as the 777-300ER (171,000L) or 10,000 L more than the 777-300ER (191,000L).

            Anyway the 777-X is naturally heavier than the A350-1000 because it is not a frontal competitor. And that does not mean that the 777-X is not a good plane …


          • 777x has a completely new wing. and going by the wider engine placement the root was extended.
            So there is not much reason around to reflexively disparage Wikipedia. I know this is popular in a select domain 🙂
            So, accept the available tankage volume.

            With a hard MTOW (353t) limit and higher OEW that may prove to be moot anyway. But the larger wing will defnitely allow more tankage.
            compare to the A350: only the ULR will use 165kl while few know were the final limit might be.

          • Hello Checklist,

            Regarding: “Wikipedia can not be a reliable source because the fuel capacity is 198.000 L while the 777-300ER has a fuel capacity of 181.000 L.”

            The fuel capacities cited by Wikpedia are consistent with those in Boeing’s most recent Airport Planning Documents for the 777-300ER and 777-9.

            The 3-2017 revision of the 777-9 “Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning” document lists a useable fuel capacity of 197,977 liters for the 777-9. The 3-2015 revision of the corresponding document for the 777-300ER lists a useable fuel capacity of 181,283 liters for the 777-200LR, 777-300ER, and 777-F (see page 2-2 in both documents). I have included links to these documents below.

            According to the above cited data, the useable fuel capacity of the 777-9 is about 9% greater than that of the 777-300ER (197,977 / 181, 298 = 1.092). The same documents that I cited above list typical passenger capacities of 339 to 370 for the 777-300ER and 349 to 414 for the 777-9. If you take the largest typical passenger capacity given for each aircraft, the passenger capacity of the 777-9 is about 12% greater than that of the 777-9 (414/370 = 1.12), not very much different from the percent increase in fuel capacity for the 777-9 vs. the 777-300ER. Most sources that I have seen cite similar ranges for the 777-300ER, and 777-9, around 7,500 nm for both (Wikipedia lists 7,370 nm for the 777-300ER and 7,600 nm for the 777-9).



          • @checklist

            The extra fuel capacity in the wing is for the 777-8. The 777-9 will never use a full fuel load. Sort of like the A330. Apart from the tanker version, an A330 will never take-off with full fuel tanks (i.e. fuel tank legacy from the A340)

            Now, is it so hard to comprehend that 777X wing has a larger fuel capacity than the 15 percent smaller wing on the current 777:

            Page 11:
            Folding Wing Tip Comparison to 777-200 “Folding Wing”


            As for Wikipedia; it’s pretty good for subjects such as mathematics and theoretical physics — probably less so for contentious issues in American politics.

          • In my post above the following phrase;

            “If you take the largest typical passenger capacity given for each aircraft, the passenger capacity of the 777-9 is about 12% greater than that of the 777-9 (414/370 = 1.12)”

            should have read as follows.

            “If you take the largest typical passenger capacity given for each aircraft, the passenger capacity of the 777-9 is about 12% greater than that of the 777-300ER (414/370 = 1.12)”

            If the seating capacities and ranges I cited were all apple to apples figures, the numbers I calculated would indicate better fuel efficiency with all seats filled for the 777-9 vs. the 777-300ER (i.e. 12 percent more passengers with 3% more range on 9% more fuel); however, I didn’t investigate the information that I looked up deeply enough to determine if the figures I cited were actually apples to apples.

            Bjorn Fehrm did a detailed analysis of the 777-300ER vs. the A350-1000 vs the 777-9 back in 2014. See link below.


          • Björns article from 2014 has been partly superceeded by a more efficient ( than initially projected ) -1000. the caveat from that time stands: 777X performance is @EIS some years ahead in the future.
            -1000 performance is “yesterday” and moving forward, alone, till EIS of the 777X. After that they may PIP in ~~unison.

          • AP_robert and OV099 thanks.

            @ OV099

            Yes the 777-9 is a partial fuel in the wing like the A350-900 (Max.139.000 L) which is reduced compared to the A350-1000 (150.000L) What does not make the A350- 900 a bad plane.

            The A350-1000 is better up to 350 seats (2-class) and the 777-9 is better from 365 seats since the GE-9X has the same thrust as the GE-90-115B and that MTOW (350 T metric) is common (777-9X / -300ER).

            In sum the 777-9 is a 1: 1 replacement of the 777-300ER…🤔🤔 Imho

          • The A350ULR with 280T MTOW has an 165KL fuel capacity within the current fuel system, I therefore assume that the 35K could also hold similar without aux tanks? AB’s website states 156KL for the 308T MTOW version of the 35K.

          • ULR with 165kl is the max _configured_ for any A350.
            No idea if this is the last word on potentially available volume.
            But more would not make sense afaics.

          • you have to work a bit on your “facts” afaics.
            All a bit off.

          • Actually the GE-9X’s thrust is 105Klb and 115Klb for the GE90-115B.

            The 308T MTOW 35K has 630Lb thrust per ton and the 779 around 600lb/ton which indicates that their is significant growth potential in the 35K’s MTOW (~320T?).

  14. I suppose she is a well prepped AB sales person.
    ( see my link to an AB pdf : p39 of 45 )

  15. Unusual for Airbus to have a salesperson doing a major presentation and make such bizarre statements. A new direction? Or an aberration.
    A fully loaded A350 being lighter than an empty 777 ? – come on.
    A 10 abreast A350? Perhaps for a mythical race of elves or 10 year old children.

  16. The a350 is a no match to Boeing 777X . Today the world’s most elite airlines operate the current version b777-300er’s and 200lr’s , they have seen the b777’s working capability for most airlines b777 is the workhorse in their overseas routes . After Boeing 747 I think b777 is the only widebody jet that gained more popularity , this is the only aircraft that was designed as per airlines needs when it was first designed . Today those airlines who are operating the current b777 in their fleet are interested in the new b777X , the largest b777’s operator airlines has already ordered the b777X in large numbers, still only it’s design has been unvield. The other existing b777 operating airlines would also order the b777X once test flight gets commenced . The GE90 engines for b777X are very impressive , it’s the world’s biggest engine fitted for an aircraft in aviation history . The upcoming b777X with it’s bold design again leads as the best twin engine widebody jet again , b777X is costlier compared to it’s rival aircraft , but it’s performance will be more powerful compared to it’s previous versions . Boeing beated airbus a330 by it’s b777 selling more 1500 plus more aircraft compared to a330 . Again I think b777X would beat a350 once b777X enters into the service .

    • Time will tell, engine PIP’s are expected for the XWB’s in 3 years or so, an 350-1000+ with 40 more seats and upgraded engines could make things interesting.

    • You expect to be rung up by Boeing PR for a new job?

      Bjorn F. some time ago shew that a fully loaded 779X @ EIS would best the A3510 brochure numbers @ a its couple of years earlier EIS by 1..2 %. All indications are that airframe and engine PIPs have already inverted this relation now and will grow further for the 779X EIS.

      Boeings success or failure will not hinge around product properties but center on aggressiveness excesses in sales campaigns. MAGA. Issue is that overstepping established ways of interaction in such ways is a short time advantage.
      A vicious circle of increasing depravity ( same we see in US foreign politics )

  17. Will be interesting to know what the distribution of 773ER mission lengths are, for example, 7000Nm, etc.

    Can see a good future for an 350-“2000”, an ~4.8m, 8 panel (5f-3r), stretch to 78.6m. With current 97Klb engines, wing tweaks and current landing gear it should handle an MTOW of 310-315T, range ~7000Nm? OEW should be ~25T less that the 779?

    This could become the 773ER replacement aircraft of choice in future.

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